Last night I went to see 'You Could Move' at the Arcola Tent in Dalston. It was a housemate's-boyfriend's-friend-is-the-writer affair and other than a vague suggestion that the play was based on LGB (lesbian, gay and bi) experiences, I didn't know what to expect.
We bought drinks at the bar in the main theatre - just across the road from last night's venue - where two other productions, Gibraltar and Moby Dick, were on stage. Then we settled ourselves on the seating that spanned two sides of the Tent (so-called because of the dark red drape above us) before the production began.
It was an immersive experience in the sense that the cast changed everything up frequently - from the props (lit panels, a table here and there, some chairs and sometimes bedlinen) and their characters, to the nature of the performance and how they interacted with the audience. Well-observed dialogues were intersected with spoken lyrics (think Robyn and Kylie) and monologues taken from experiences of all walks of LGB life. I went with my housemates (a collection of gay guys and a straight girl) and it was interesting to see how much we all related (from our own perspectives) to the content of the production when we emerged, blinking, an hour and a half or so later. It was insightful, entertaining, amusing and interesting all in the one, and it was so good to get a dose of such great culture (and pour the last of my wine right at the quietest part of the production - oops!)
Funded by The National Lottery, You Could Move is the latest production from Outbox, 'a company of all gay performers, focusing on the forgotten and unheard stories of the LGB community. You Could Move mixes up verbatim with physical storytelling, evocative soundscape, glamour, grit and gay abandon to portray contemporary scenes of LGB.' Showing at the Arcola Theatre until 20 April, then Contact in Manchester on the 27 April, tickets are £10 and well-worth every penny.